You took your Realtor’s advice and have spent hours (days) along with lots of energy (and possibly money as well) getting you home ready to launch onto the market. You even did a great job on the outside to up that all important ‘curb appeal’. The siding’s been power washed, the front door painted and treated to brand new hardware and you paid a visit to the local nursery to get some brand new, very attractive plants to spruce up your yard.
So you step into the street to admire your handiwork and view it form a potential buyer’s point of view. And that’s when you remember what the real problem is. Your neighbour’s messy lawn, ‘extra’ cars in the driveway and madly barking dog. Over there it’s pretty much a case of “curb unappealing” and yes, sadly, some of that could rub off and spoil a potential buyer’s first impressions of YOUR home.
But what are you supposed to do about what really is quite a sticky situation? Well you do have options for remedying the situation that won’t start a neighbourhood feud:
Work on Improving Your Relationship with Your Neighbours
In a busy world, many of us have very little contact even with our closest neighbours. A nodded good morning or the occasional meeting while walking dogs is often as far as the relationships extend. If you are planning on selling your home now is the time to get to know them better (as strange as that may seem as you are planning on moving away!)
In addition to possible curb appeal issues like the ones just discussed it’s not unusual for neighbors to be drawn into the sales process when you sell your home. Issues with fencing, retaining walls and even trees and hedges can all involve the neighbours and a good relationship will help ensure their cooperation when you really need it.
Let Them in on Your Plans
This goes hand in hand with the previous advice. By giving your neighbours a heads up that you are selling your home they are more likely to be willing to help if needed. More willing anyway than if you show up unannounced on their doorstep pleading for help three days before the closing.
About That Curb Appeal Issue…
Speaking to a neighbour about a curb appeal issue is not going to be easy. But if you really believe the issue is impacting your chances of selling your home it has to be done. Offering to pay towards the cost of repairs will help but remember you can’t force them to use your landscaper, painter or contractor, even if you’re paying for it. It’s their home, not yours, and you need to tread lightly.
Though many neighbors will appreciate the offer to spruce up their home on you, others may be hesitant. Bullying them to work on your timeframe or with your rules won’t help.
Hopefully, your home sale can proceed smoothly without the need to involve neighbors. But understand that your neighbors’ cooperation may be necessary. If you plan in advance, open the doors of communication and offer to make things easy, you’re more likely to get what you want.